Noida: Plants and gardens are synonyms with childhood friends for Pronati Dobriyal, a resident of Express Zenith Society, Sector 77. During her growing up years in Rajasthan, Pronati used to maintain a kitchen garden with her father, who was a doctor. In the garden, she'd grow vegetables such as okra, pumpkin, bitter gourd, bottle gourd, potatoes, raddish and carrots. These used to be the prime ingredients in her kitchen.
Cut to today, Pronati is the founder of Rootin Breath Fresh and deals in plants and pots for corporate gifting. She kept close to her passion and hobby and turned it into a successful business.
While talking about her days with her father in Rajasthan, Pronati tells that they used to enjoy growing their own vegetables. She says, “Where we used to live, in UIT colony, we had grown so many plants and trees, including mulberry trees. Even today those trees are there, even though there are not many trees in that area.”
Pronati thinks that gardening, even as a hobby, must be taken seriously. She explains, "There are two reasons for it. First, plants naturally purify the indoor air and have oxygen-boosting capabilities. Second, with the blast in population in the next five years, everything will become expensive, including the most basic need which is food. People should start getting into the practice of growing their food at home in urban cities."
She continues, "The two most common ways of growing food at home in urban cities are container gardening and Hydroponics. In container gardening, one can grow microgreens that are 10 times more nutritious than actual full-grown greens like spinach, radish leaves and mustard leaves among others. In Hydroponics, also called aquaculture, nutriculture, soilless culture, or tank farming, is a little expensive set-up at the initial stage but lets you have good yield in one go. This cultivation of plants is done in nutrient-enriched water, with or without the mechanical support of an inert medium such as sand, gravel, or perlite."
Grow plants anywhere everywhere!
— Rootinbreathefresh (@Rootin_India) April 15, 2022
As for Pronati's educational background, she has done her undergrad from IHM Kolkata in Hotel and Hospitality Management. Later on, in 2017, she did her post-graduation in Business Administration in Marketing from IMT Ghaziabad. She joined the corporate world after her studies. However, as the pandemic hit in 2020, it was a turning point in her life.
About starting this business, she says, “During Covid, all everyone was talking about were Covid cases and deaths, however, I didn't want to engulf myself with all that negativity. I am a reader but delivery services were off during that time and I couldn't get hold of new books. This is how I got back to gardening and eventually decided to make it a full-time business."
She says that in this new journey, her father-in-law and four years old son supported her and both of them love plantation and gardening. She used to post photos and videos of her plants on Instagram and started getting queries of whether she sells them or not. This is when she got the idea to give it a try.
Pronati is very connected with her plants. Even after she sells her plants, she takes care of them. "People send their plants' pictures to me and then I help them to looking after their plants," says her.
As the corporate world is apprehending the importance of greenery, they are trying to do their bit. Pronati's clients include interior designers or architects who are working towards promoting greenery, even in indoor spaces. Pronita advises, "Architects and interior designers should go for more greener options wherever they can and they should go more local for such services. The idea is to save energy either by planting more trees and plants or by saving other energies like fuel and electricity."
While talking about Bonsai, a popular gifting option, Pronati says that Bonsai is an ornamental plant and is not air purifying. She further explains how to take care of it, "It is like a big tree in a small container. If your bonsai’s roots are coming out, I suggest to repot it in a bigger container. The key to a healthy plant is a right pot."
She also requests that whenever you get a plant as a gift, do not bring it home and immediately repot it. Let the plant build a relationship with you and adapt to the new environment.
Corporate Gifting and plantation drives are Pronati major focus when it comes to giving back to society. She says that corporate gifting is considered very important for a reason because corporates or organizations play a vital role in changing the behaviour of a society. When a plant is gifted to employees, it leaves an impression on them, their families, and neighbourhood. So, it is a chain of changing a thought process and supporting a cause like this.
She has ample plant gifting options like tropical plants, the golden lucky bamboo plant which purify the air, snow-white aglaonema, ball aralia, lemon croton in zebra ceramic pot, lilies, jade, pearl pothos. As in NCR, there is a big problem of smog, so she suggests that keeping the following plants indoor will work as a natural air freshener- Monstera, Alocasia silver dragon, folden pothos, calthea orbifoila, philodendron selloum, calathea medallion.
You can get these plants from Pronati's Rootin Breath Fresh.